Up until a year ago, I thought the only Ghosts were around this time of year but I was wrong, there’s a whole year where they appear! And I’m not just talking about relationships because I think this is where the saying came from, I could also be completely wrong with that but as I was talking to my 17 year old god daughter a while ago, I knew she wasn’t talking about recruitment!
So, what does Ghosting mean? “When someone withdraws from all communication unexpectedly and suddenly” apparently.
Candidates are ghosted by recruiters, clients can ghost recruiters and candidates in turn can ghost recruiters as well. Mmmmmmm, that’s a lot of ghosting that happens in recruitment!
I hear again and again how candidates say that recruiters never get back to them. And I’m sure that there will be people who will say that about me but I can 100% guarantee if I have done that to you, I didn’t mean to. It’s because I sit in my office until 7pm most nights and always leave with a list of things to do the next morning. And I give anyone permission to call me up and say “oi love, you never called me back” if you genuinely feel like I have ignored you. However, I am still waiting for a candidate to call me back after she failed to attend an interview 18 months ago. She sent me an email saying her car had broken down on the way to the interview and couldn’t make it. I was hugely concerned, and I put my recruitment cap to one side and thought, girl in her 20’s, broken down car and I offered to call someone for her. I left a message, sent an email, nothing. I still hope that she’s OK, I presume she is and presume both myself and consequently my client, were ghosted.
On the flip side, the list is equally as long. I am currently waiting for a client to call me back. They’ve had the CV for 2 weeks, promised me feedback a week ago, I fed this back to the candidate, who is immediately available for a job that according to my client “is urgent”, and every day I am contacting the candidate to apologise on behalf of my client. But I’m out of excuses. And then I have to remember that recruitment is 100% of what I do and when a client is up to their eyes in the day to day job, finding someone to join your team is a small percentage so I back off. But I’ve spent time and money advertising the role, speaking to candidates, pulling together a short list and in a candidate driven market, good ones are like gold dust so when I send across 1 CV for 1 job, they are the best person out there at this time. And as I said before, I sit in my office until 7pm most evening so there is plenty of time for the client to communicate with me. And when they do come back and say “yes we’d like to see them”, I have to do the PR piece around the delay, that’s if the candidate is still looking and hasn’t got snapped up. I have also been waiting 2 years for feedback on a Technical Manager who interviewed for a role by a very well-known food manufacturer. 2 YEARS!!! The candidate and I assumed after 4 weeks that they had been unsuccessful despite feedback initially being that they’ll be inviting them back for a 2nd interview.
Worse than everyone put together? I can only speak from me but like to think I return most calls. I leave a LOT of messages and even this week I got a message from “Paul, returning your call.” I honestly cannot find a CV that I’ve received in the last 3 weeks of someone called Paul, or any candidate on my system called Paul that I’ve recently called so I’ve not called him back, but he didn’t leave a surname or a number, so I have no way of knowing. Other than writing down every single phone call I make as I go along. which if I did, I’d probably have 15 minutes less each day to phone people back. So, if you’re reading this Paul, I’m not ghosting you, I just don’t know who you are or how to call you.
So why does Ghosting happen? Are we all too busy? Are there too many ways to communicate? Or do we care less? Has all the juggling got too much? Are our memories getting worse with information overload? Or is it a mixture of all the above?
What I can say is we need to communicate, we need to remember how important people are and value peoples time as well as emotions. We all need to be a little bit kinder, a bit more thoughtful and ensure we get the work life balance right.
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